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49ers' Lease At Candlestick Park
Expires After '12 Season
The 49ers "have announced they won't be kicking off in a new Santa Clara stadium for at least five years, but talk of extending the team's stay at San Francisco's Candlestick Park seems just as stalled," according to Matier & Ross of the S.F. CHRONICLE. 49ers President & CEO Jed York said that he "hasn't talked to Mayor Gavin Newsom in two years and isn't holding his breath about the two having a meeting of the minds anytime soon." Newsom's Press Secretary, Tony Winnicker, said, "Unless the team ownership is prepared to make a longer term commitment to the city, the idea that the taxpayers of San Francisco are going to foot the bill for millions of dollars of new luxury boxes and TV flat screens is straight out of the fantasy football league." The 49ers' Candlestick lease "expires after the 2012 season," and "renewing the lease would mean signing on for another five years." Team officials so far "haven't signaled they're ready to do that -- but then the Niners have a pending $60 million maintenance claim against the city and are pressing for tens of millions more in renovations, including a new area for club seating" (S.F. CHRONICLE, 10/25).
IF YOU BUILD IT, WILL THEY COME? In L.A., Vincent Bonsignore wrote Majestic Realty Chair & CEO Ed Roski's City of Industry NFL stadium "might be as shovel-ready as he claims, but until someone actually decides to scorn their current city and commit to moving to L.A., the shovels will remain in a workshed." The "problem for Roski" is that "every day that passes without a commitment is another opportunity for Tim Leiweke, Casey Wasserman and the Anschutz Entertainment Group for a $1 billion downtown stadium proposal to gain ground on his $800 million Industry project, which is about a year ahead of AEG at this point and has full approval for construction." With the NFL "focused on getting a new collective bargaining agreement in place," AEG "should have sufficient time to make up the necessary ground." The "bottom line" is that Roski and AEG, who teamed to build Staples Center, "seem headed toward a spirited battle" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 10/24).
Preseason Game In Tampa Canceled
Due To Concerns Court Was Unsafe
In St. Petersburg, Antonya English reported fans 30 minutes before tipoff of Friday night's Heat-Magic preseason game at St. Pete Times Forum were "told via the public address announcer that the expected-sellout game was canceled because the playing surface of the basketball court had been deemed unsafe for play." More than 18,000 tickets were sold, and arena officials had "expected 20,000 fans." But "concern about the floor surfaced during the Magic's shootaround Friday morning," and Magic coach Stan Van Gundy said that the floor was "so slippery the team literally had to walk through workouts." Lightning and arena CEO Tod Leiweke: "It was simply the wrong (cleaning) solution used on the floor. It had an oil content, and it should not have been used." English noted refunds "will be made to all ticket buyers at point of purchase" (ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 10/23).
KEEPING HIS PISTONS FIRING: In Detroit, Tom Walsh reported Palace Sports & Entertainment Exec VP/Corporate Marketing Dan Hauser is "hustling to keep the turnstiles turning and revenue coming in at the Palace of Auburn Hills" as the future ownership of the Pistons "hangs in limbo." Hauser: "We can't take anything for granted, not a single sponsorship, not a season ticket renewal." Hauser last week "inked a one-year sponsorship renewal with Buick-GMC," and "promotions to drive more people directly into Buick-GMC showrooms" are a part of the deal. Meanwhile, the "94-feet-tall Palace marquee alongside I-75 was upgraded last month with twin super-bright color Daktronic Valo LED digital billboard displays," and Hauser said that all advertising space on the marquee is "sold out through September 2011" (DETROIT FREE PRESS, 10/24).
BACK ON THE FRONTBURNER: In Edmonton, Gordon Kent noted the proposed Oilers arena in the city's downtown will "return to the spotlight next month when the city holds its first meetings seeking public opinion on the proposal." The results "will be part of a report going to city council in mid-January, when councillors are now scheduled to decide whether to direct tax money to the project and consider approving the suggested site." The project "has been flying below the radar" since Oilers Owner Daryl Katz met with city council July 21, vowing to spend $100M (all figures Canadian) "to help build the arena and invest an additional $100 million in surrounding construction." The arena is "expected to cost" $450M, and in addition to Katz' money, "potential funding sources include a community revitalization levy based on property taxes from new building in the area, ticket taxes and grants" (EDMONTON JOURNAL, 10/23).
FREE SNEAK PEEK: The WALL STREET JOURNAL's Jim Carlton noted there is an "arched opening in the right-field wall at AT&T Park where 100 people can stroll up and watch, free of charge." The ballpark "officially calls this area the 'Viewing Portals,' and it enforces a few rules" including "no portable chairs; no drinking; no dogs." Carlton noted a security guard "uses a megaphone to herd each shift out every three innings," and a gate to the area lets guards keep the "population controlled" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/23).